Failing to curb emissions puts Earth on "catastrophic pathway"

September 20, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

According to a new United Nations report, the world will face catastrophic weather events unless governments cut greenhouse gas emissions. The report reviewed all the commitments submitted by the Paris accord signatories and found that they would result in a 16% rise in greenhouse gasses by 2030 compared to 2010 levels. Scientists have warned that the world will be uninhabitable if governments do not curb greenhouse gas emissions and keep global warming under a 1.5 degrees Celsius increase. Extreme events such as flooding, disease outbreaks and droughts would lead to massive losses of life if this were to happen. Related: It’s code red for Earth, says new UN study “The world is on a catastrophic pathway to 2.7 degrees (Celsius) of heating,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. “We need a 45% cut in emissions by 2030 to reach carbon neutrality by mid-century.” In 2015, 200 countries made environmental pledges as part of the Paris Agreement . However, most countries have been slow to show serious commitment. In the latest review, the U.N. found that 113 countries had updated their commitments, with the latest submissions made by 30 July. Emission targets, commonly known as nationally determined contributions or NDCs, are vital in determining cumulative emissions. For the countries that submitted targets, the U.N. report found that there would be a 12% drop in emissions by the end of the decade. “That’s the positive side of the picture,” U.N. climate chief Patricia Espinosa said. “The other one is more sobering.” The other side of the picture is that many major emitters did not submit commitments. This includes countries such as China , Saudi Arabia and India. Espinosa has now called for leaders from these countries and more to submit stronger commitments at the U.N. gathering in New York this week. “Leaders must engage in a frank discussion driven not just by the very legitimate desire to protect national interest, but also by the equally commanding goal of contributing to the welfare of humanity,” Espinosa said. “We simply have no more time to spare, and people throughout the world expect nothing less.” Via PBS and The New York Times Lead image via Pixabay

Read more from the original source: 
Failing to curb emissions puts Earth on "catastrophic pathway"

New environmental racism scorecard calls out ExxonMobil

August 24, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on New environmental racism scorecard calls out ExxonMobil

The grading period has ended, and it’s time to find out who got the high scores and who’s failing the class. According to a new environmental racism  scorecard  released by shareholder advocacy group As You Sow,  ExxonMobil  came in last. In other words, an F minus. The group’s recent evaluation of the 500 largest publicly traded companies is an updated version of its March scorecard. The earlier version looked at 26 indicators of racial justice, such as workplace diversity and how often employees of color got choice promotions. But people criticized that version for not considering how these companies polluted nonwhite communities. Newly added criteria weigh whether a company acknowledges environmental justice  issues and researches any penalties it has incurred for pollution. Related: How to support environmental justice “We see the  environmental  and racial justice as completely linked,” said Olivia Knight, manager of  As You Sow’s  Racial Justice Initiative, as reported by Grist. “You can’t have racial justice without acknowledging and remedying environmental justice.” None of the 500 companies got an A, unless you grade on a curve set for very bad students. CVS and  Microsoft  tied for first place with a lousy 60%. This poor score is still higher than the energy sector, which averaged 3%. Seven companies managed to plummet into negative numbers. ExxonMobil, Marathon Petroleum and Valero Energy were in this tier of companies that have done so much harm to nonwhite and/or low-income communities that they couldn’t even make it to zero. For example, ExxonMobil’s crude oil refinery in Beaumont, Texas routinely fails to comply with the Clean Air Act. The majority-Black neighborhood nearby is breathing those carcinogens. “ Environmental racism  is built into their business plan,” Knight said. “They have allowed all of these environmental violations to become just business as usual.” The fossil fuel giant scored negative-23%. Then there’s Marathon Petroleum, whose oil refineries near southwest  Detroit  leak chemicals and release vapors that have increased asthma and cancer among Black and brown communities. Factor in its $1.5 billion in health, safety and environmental penalties since 2000, and you see why the company scored negative-17% on the scorecard. Will getting a failing score shame  fossil fuel  companies into cleaning up their acts? Some of them seem beyond shame. But we’ll keep our fingers crossed. Via Grist Lead image via Roy Luck

Original post: 
New environmental racism scorecard calls out ExxonMobil

Copper-clad Bondi House highlights compact, multi-level living

August 24, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Copper-clad Bondi House highlights compact, multi-level living

Armed with a thoughtful combination of natural light, garden outlooks and angled design, this copper-clad townhouse in Australia manages to achieve compact, multi-level living with a deep sense of  privacy  — despite its location on an exposed corner site. The Bondi House, named for the beachy suburb where it’s located in eastern Sydney, comes from Fox Johnston Architects and has already been shortlisted for the 2021 Australian Interior Design Awards, Houses Awards and the AIA NSW Architecture Awards. The home itself spans an impressive 212 square meters on a 153 square meter site, while still leaving room for  landscape  spaces for the owners to cultivate. The small space doesn’t infringe upon the neighbors either, instead using its setback and deep balcony to offer up additional space along the public walkway and light to the homes on the northwest side. Related: A sustainable, zinc-clad family home on a budget in Australia The living room uses concrete floors paired with exposed timber beams, as well as windows and doors crafted from western red cedar. The architects also chose local Sydney sandstone for the office plinth and dark stone for the kitchen benchtops. Natural light and organic tones cover the entire interior, culminating in a central  courtyard  that separates the kitchen from the living room, accented with curved windows. The office sits where the car space once stood, though the area could easily be refitted into a parking space if the owners ever choose to sell the property.  “The central courtyard was an early idea we developed to gather light and segment the living level into zones, which we think is more interesting in a small space, rather than that feeling of just being in one long room,” said Conrad Johnston, Director at Fox Johnston. “The copper wall is big gesture for the setting and the street. Next to a traditional semi we’ve attached this bold, curved copper wall on a tiny block. This sculptural element crowns and connects the entire site. It’s a bit full on but in a gentle way.” Copper lasts long and doesn’t easily degrade or corrode, making it immune to most environmental elements or hazards. Plus, it is completely  recyclable  at the end of its life.  Other sustainable features to the home include locally sourced construction materials, low VOC diminishes, 4 Green Start fittings and fixtures, native landscaping to reduce water usage and a 3,000-liter  rainwater  tank for irrigation. + Fox Johnston Via ArchDaily Images courtesy of Brett Boardman

Original post:
Copper-clad Bondi House highlights compact, multi-level living

Mysterious fish deaths in Mar Menor Spain prompt investigation

August 19, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Mysterious fish deaths in Mar Menor Spain prompt investigation

Prosecutors in Spain have launched investigations into the mysterious death of fish along the shores of Mar Menor in southeast Spain . Mar Menor is one of the largest saltwater lagoons in Europe and home to a rich diversity of sea species. This week, residents noticed dead fish washing up along the shores and raised alarm by posting pictures and videos on social media. Residents reported spotting different types of dead sea life, including fish , shrimp and blue crabs. As Ada García Saura of SOS Mar Menor said, “[The blue crab] is a predator that is quite strong and resistant. So if we’re seeing these species that are much more resistant, it hints at the seriousness of what is happening.” Related: Heartbreaking video shows salmon suffering through heat wave The occurrence is not new to Mar Menor, as in 2019, thousands of crustaceans washed on the shore in the same lagoon. Ecologists are warning that the recent occurrence could be a repeat of what happened in 2019. Initial investigations in 2019 established that a lack of oxygen killed the crustaceans. Experts said that heavy agricultural runoff had sparked an algae boom, leading to oxygen depletion in the area. In 2015, another similar occurrence happened, when all the lagoon’s water was colored and 85% of seagrass was killed. The phenomenon was termed extreme eutrophication and was a result of agricultural runoff. Mar Menor is an agriculturally intensive region, with experts warning that the region is under pressure. The lagoon receives runoff from a 60,000-hectare agricultural area. To compound the problem, nearby towns lack proper sewerage systems. As a result, all this waste ends up in the lagoon untreated. Locals have been vocal about the issue, calling out authorities for the death of the fish this week. “They haven’t done anything in five years, nothing,” one resident told reporters. Another added, “We’re seeing a significant environmental change in the Mar Menor and it’s getting worse. It’s dying.” Currently, regional government officials deny that the fish deaths were caused by a lack of oxygen. Instead, they are pointing to early studies from a local university, highlighting the recent heat wave’s potential impact. Via The Guardian Lead image via Pixabay

View original here:
Mysterious fish deaths in Mar Menor Spain prompt investigation

Fine particulate air pollution linked to increased dementia risk

August 9, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Fine particulate air pollution linked to increased dementia risk

Researchers at the University of Washington have found a relationship between increased levels of fine particle pollution and the risk of dementia. In a  study  that borrowed data from two long-running studies in the Seattle area, researchers established that high levels of particulate matter in the environment corresponded with a greater risk of dementia. The data used was borrowed from a study that has measured air pollution in the Puget Sound region since the 1970s and a study researching risk factors for dementia since 1994. While analyzing the data, the researchers found a link between dementia and increased rates of pollution. Related: Air pollution from US meat production causes 16,000 deaths annually “We found that an increase of 1 microgram per cubic meter of exposure corresponded to a 16% greater hazard of all-cause dementia. There was a similar association for Alzheimer’s-type dementia,” said lead author Rachel Shaffer. More than 4,000 Seattle area residents were enrolled for the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) Study run by the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in conjunction with the University of Washington. Of the 4,000 participants, 1,000 were diagnosed with dementia at some point since the ACT study began in 1994. “The ACT Study is committed to advancing dementia research by sharing its data and resources, and we’re grateful to the ACT volunteers who have devoted years of their lives to supporting our efforts, including their enthusiastic participation in this important research on air pollution ,” said Dr. Eric Larson, ACT’s founding principal investigator. In their analysis, the researchers found that just one microgram per cubic meter difference in PM2.5 pollution (particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or smaller) between residences correlates to a 16% higher incidence of dementia. While the research shows a relationship between rates of dementia and particulate matter pollution, the researchers say that many other factors have to be factored in, given the long time it takes for dementia to develop. “We know dementia develops over a long period of time. It takes years – eve ndecades – for these pathologies to develop in the brain , and so we needed to look at exposures that covered that extended period,” Shaffer said. Via NewsWise Lead image via Pixabay

Continued here: 
Fine particulate air pollution linked to increased dementia risk

Three Americans’ lifetime emissions enough to kill one person

July 30, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Three Americans’ lifetime emissions enough to kill one person

A recent study on the mortality cost of carbon emissions has revealed that the average emissions created by 3.5 Americans are enough to kill one person. Further, the study found that emissions from a single coal-fired power plant are enough to cause roughly 900 deaths. The study, published in  Nature Communications , is the first of its kind. The analysis draws from several public health studies to determine the exact mortality cost of every metric ton of carbon emissions. It was established that every 4,434 metric tons of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere above the 2020 rate of emissions would lead to the premature death of one person globally due to increased temperature. This amount of CO2 is equivalent to the lifetime emissions of approximately 3.5 Americans. Related: Least developed countries tell rich nations to cut emissions Additionally, the study established that adding a year’s worth of the average U.S. coal-fired power plant’s CO2 emissions (4 million metric tons) will lead to the premature loss of 904 by the end of the century. However, the study also points out that these deaths can be reduced if action is taken. If emissions are eliminated, approximately 74 million lives could be saved globally by 2050. “There are a significant number of lives that can be saved if you pursue climate policies that are more aggressive than the business as usual scenario,” said Daniel Bressler of Columbia University’s Earth Institute. The study reiterates the results of previous studies on the disparities of emission impacts on low-income countries compared to developed nations. The study found that only 3.5 Americans contribute enough carbon to cause one death in their lifetime, a sharp contrast to 25 Brazilians or 146 Nigerians needed to do the same. While the researchers used reliable data, they have warned that the figures are not definitive. The data only factored in deaths that may result from global warming caused by pollution . Other risks that could occur due to continued emissions, such as floods, storms and droughts, were not factored in. This means that the deaths resulting from emission-based risks could be more than those indicated in the study. “I was surprised at how large the number of deaths are. There is some uncertainty over this, the number could be lower but it could also be a lot higher,” said Bressler. Via The Guardian Lead image via Pixabay

The rest is here: 
Three Americans’ lifetime emissions enough to kill one person

G20 nations subsidized $3 trillion in fossil fuels since Paris agreement

July 22, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on G20 nations subsidized $3 trillion in fossil fuels since Paris agreement

A report by BloombergNEF and Bloomberg Philanthropies shows that G20 countries have continued subsidizing fossil fuels at the expense of the environment. Despite committing to tackle climate change, G20 countries have provided more than $3.3 trillion in subsidies to fossil fuel since the Paris climate agreement in 2015. Antha Williams, the environment lead at Bloomberg Philanthropies, says that countries have committed to tackling climate change on paper, but actions tell a different story. “On paper, global leaders and governments are recognising the urgency of the climate challenge and the G20 countries have all made ambitious commitments to scale down fossil fuel development and transition to a low- carbon economy,” said Williams. Related: G7 leaders commit to curb climate change, but fall short on coal “But, in reality, the action taken by these countries up until this point is a far cry from what is needed. As a host of climate emergencies intensify around the world, the continued development of fossil fuel infrastructure is nothing short of reckless. We need more than just words – we need action.” Michael Bloomberg and a U.N. special envoy have urged governments to act before the G20 meeting in Italy on Friday. G20 energy and climate ministers will be meeting in Italy to consult on key environmental factors. The U.N.-backed Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) has also voiced support for new commitments during the meeting.  Günther Thallinger, chair of NZAOA, says that while the group welcomes new commitments, they must be accompanied by action since promises alone do not solve the problem. “Pledges and targets alone will not be sufficient to change course,” Thallinger said. Thallinger added that the subsidies offered by developed countries disproportionately favor the wealthy, leaving those who are less advantaged to pay a heavy price by enduring pollution’s consequences. Another recent report prepared by the  International Institute for Sustainable Development  shows that 32 countries only can reduce CO2 emissions by 5.5 billion tonnes by 2030. This is equivalent to the emissions produced by 1,000 coal-fired power plants.  Via The Guardian Lead image via Pixabay

View post: 
G20 nations subsidized $3 trillion in fossil fuels since Paris agreement

Here’s how the billionaire space race hurts the environment

July 20, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Here’s how the billionaire space race hurts the environment

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, successfully flew to space and landed back on Earth this month, a move that has reignited the conversation about rocket pollution . Over the years, pollution caused by rocket launches has often been brushed away due to the few launches taking place. However, due to the recent billionaire space race, conservationists are raising concerns over the pollution these launches create. Branson was part of a six-member crew that flew to space earlier this month in the inaugural Virgin Galactic flight. This flight opens doors for more people to visit space and joins other space shuttle companies such as Space X. With advancing rocket technology, the cost of touring space is decreasing and consequently attracting more tourists. Conservationists worry that the trend poses a threat to the environment, given the enormous amount of pollution rockets emit. Related: Moon wobble could lead to massive flooding According to Eloise Marais, an associate professor of physical geography at University College London, one long-haul flight produces a maximum of 3 tons of carbon dioxide per passenger, while one rocket produces up to 300 tons for a trip of about four people. A report from  Futurism  also points out that the kerosene and methane rockets burn “can end up harming the ozone layer.” For now, the number of rocket launches is still minimal. Last year,  only 114   rockets attempted to reach orbit, a huge contrast to about 100,000 planes that take off every day. Still, there has been a significant increase in the number of rockets launched into space, and this number seems likely to rise in coming years. The worry is that these rockets emit everything from carbon dioxide to chlorine and other chemicals directly into the upper atmosphere, where they could stay for two to three years. Marais says that the lack of regulation in the rocket industry is a problem that should be tackled to address the industry’s pollution. “We have no regulations currently around rocket emissions ,” Marais said. “The time to act is now – while the billionaires are still buying their tickets.” Via Futurism and The Guardian Lead image via Pixabay

Read the rest here: 
Here’s how the billionaire space race hurts the environment

Least developed countries tell rich nations to cut emissions

July 16, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Least developed countries tell rich nations to cut emissions

A coalition of 100 Least Developed Countries (LDC) is raising concerns over the slow rate at which developed countries are implementing their promises to reverse the climate crisis . The LDC group wants richer countries to commit to more concrete climate mitigation measures at the Cop26 Summit later this year. Cop26 will be the most important climate meeting after the Paris Agreement of 2015. Hosted by the U.K. , the meeting is expected to bring world leaders together to discuss key climate matters that could determine the world’s future. Leaders from Cop26’s LDC group are already discussing their concern over developed nations’ lack of commitment to climate action. Related: G7 leaders commit to curb climate change, but fall short on coal Chair of the LDC group for Cop26, Sonam P. Wangdi of Bhutan said: “Despite Covid understandably taking the headlines, climate change has been getting worse over the past year as emissions continue to rise and the lives and livelihoods on the frontline suffer.” Wangdi added, “We vulnerable countries are not asking for much – just that richer countries, who have caused this problem, take responsibility by cutting their emissions and keeping their promise to help those their emissions have harmed.” The LDC group has already published five demands, among them a call for richer governments to strengthen national plans to cut emissions, provide $100 billion per year in “climate finance” to developing countries, and bring the Paris Agreement to full effect. One of the major talking points at Cop26 will be the failure by developed countries to live up to their 2009 promise of providing $100 billion per year in funding to poor countries by 2020. “Developed countries are currently not pulling their weight or keeping their promises on their obligations to provide climate finance. Like any negotiation, you need to have faith that pledges and commitments will be met,” said chair of the Africa group of negotiators Tanguy Gahouma-Bekale of Gabon. Some developed countries, such as the U.K., have even cut their support to poor countries. This week, MPs voted to cut the U.K.’s foreign aid by a third, from 0.7% of GDP to 0.5%. LDC leaders say that these actions demonstrate a lack of responsibility. They demand the world’s richest nations be held accountable for the adverse effects of pollution since they are responsible for the majority of emissions worldwide. Via The Guardian Lead image via Topu Saha

Read the rest here: 
Least developed countries tell rich nations to cut emissions

The Amazon rainforest now emits more carbon than it absorbs

July 15, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on The Amazon rainforest now emits more carbon than it absorbs

A recent  study  in Nature shows that the Amazon rainforest is now emitting more CO2 than it absorbs. For the first time, scientists have confirmed that despite once being the largest carbon sink in the world, the rainforest has turned into a pollutant due to high rates of deforestation. According to the study, approximately a billion tonnes of carbon are emitted by the forest each year. The study has identified forest fires as one of the major causes of emissions . Most of the fires are deliberately started to clear forest land for beef and soy farming. With most of the world’s soy supply produced in Brazil, conservationists are calling for a global conversation over the status of the Amazon. Related: Facebook Marketplace fuels illegal sales of land in the Amazon rainforest Researchers used small planes to measure the levels of CO2 over the Amazon, up to 4,500 meters above the canopy. The study started in 2010 and ran until 2018. Previous studies were conducted via satellite images, which were less accurate.  The research was lead and co-authored by Luciana Gatti of the National Institute for Space Research in Brazil . While commenting on the findings, Gatti said that deforestation alone is turning the forest into a carbon emitter. Even in regions with no forest fires, researchers found that carbon emissions were higher than carbon absorption in areas where deforestation was severe. “The first very bad news is that forest burning produces around three times more CO2 than the forest absorbs. The second bad news is that the places where deforestation is 30% or more show carbon emissions 10 times higher than where deforestation is lower than 20%,” said Gatti. Researchers were involved in checking over 600 verticle profiles of CO2 and carbon monoxide. The study found that fires alone produced 1.5 billion tonnes of CO2 a year, while forest growth only removes approximately half a billion tonnes of CO2 per year. As The Guardian reports, “the 1bn tonnes left in the atmosphere is equivalent to the annual emissions of Japan, the world’s fifth-biggest polluter.” Professor Simon Lewis of University College London has praised the study, saying, “Flying every two weeks and keeping consistent laboratory measurements for nine years is an amazing feat.” In light of this news, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has been scrutinized for driving deforestation by supporting farmers to take land in the forest. If this continues, some countries in Europe are threatening to block an EU trade deal with Brazil. Via The Guardian Lead image via Pexels

Read more from the original source: 
The Amazon rainforest now emits more carbon than it absorbs

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 8544 access attempts in the last 7 days.